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I’m going to go ahead and say it–I don’t like February. It’s cold and dreary and it feels like there’s so much more work to do (trampling through the snow to feed the animals? That’s exercise for the day!). I try to look for the silver linings, though. One is Valentine’s Day. I know it gets a bad rap for being overly commercialized (what holiday isn’t?!), but I happen to love it. Obviously, it shouldn’t be the only day people show love to those who are important to them, but also, what’s the harm in having a day to show a little extra love?

Our day started b-r-i-g-h-t and early, because our kids are at the stage where EVERY holiday is something worth celebrating. I heard kids get out of bed at 6:30am and start to rattle around in the kitchen. An hour and a half later, they made exactly eight heart-shaped pancakes (and a vat of pink frosting), eight fried eggs, eight folded cat napkins, and apple juice. It was the fanciest breakfast I’ve had in a long time and any time I don’t have to cook, I enjoy it even more.
One of my favorite parts about Valentine’s Day is seeing how the kids show love for their family. Claire made a treat of white and semi-sweet chocolate, conversation hearts, and freeze-dried strawberries (it was…interesting 😂).
Evelyn spent two weeks hand-sewing dolls for all of her siblings. She keeps getting better and better at these adorable crafts made from fabric scraps and they are always appreciated by her brothers and sisters.
The kids also had a few special deliveries in the mail, which is always exciting.

Eventually, all the fun caught up with some of the younger kids who didn’t even make it through lunch before they crashed. Naptime!

I have to give a special shoutout to Jack for being my #1 Valentine. I fully recognize how amazing he is and how lucky I am to call him mine. Usually, we try to do something a little more special for the holiday, but between the snow, cold, and Covid, we stayed at home. Of all the things we could have been doing, he followed me out to the barn and helped me clean out the horse’s stall. I shoveled, he dumped, he got shavings, I spread them. We’re a team and I appreciate his help, especially since things like cleaning out a stall is a very one-sided activity. He really must love me.
It wasn’t all work, either. Valentine’s Day has become our annual chocolate party. We set out fruit and vegetables, cheese and bread to make dinner sort of healthy, but if we’re being honest, we mostly stuff ourselves with all sorts of delectable chocolates.
When the sun went down, we burned off some of our chocolate-induced energy by having a glow bracelet dance party, thanks to Grandma’s generosity. You’ve never seen kids dance until they’ve eaten their weight in chocolate!
I love all my Valentines, in all the forms they come. My spouse, companion, and best friend, Jack, my kids with all their sweetness and silliness, and those I’m lucky enough to call friends. I love you all!
(And now, I hope maple syrup season and/or spring weather comes really quickly, so I can endure the rest of February 😂).

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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